United Nations


United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will attend the opening ceremony of the 21st-century Panglong Conference on August 31, according to U Zaw Htay, deputy director general of the President’s Office.

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United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon will attend a landmark peace conference in Myanmar this month, an official and armed group confirmed yesterday, bolstering the new government’s drive to end decades of fighting in Myanmar’s borderlands.

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Undoubtedly, the new government is a “civilian government”, and the second parliament was elected through a fair election. Many have celebrated that, finally, the wishes of the people of Myanmar have been heard. However, the reality is that in both houses of parliament, as well as in the state and regional parliaments, 25 percent of seats are reserved for MPs appointed by the Tatmadaw. Furthermore, the military still controls three key government ministries, a backdrop which may continue to impose obstacles and challenges.

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When the United Nations Development Programme resolved to step up its work in Myanmar in 2012, the first task at hand was to design a new engagement strategy. As the recently arrived country director, I recall meeting many sceptics within and outside the country who were questioning whether Myanmar’s declared transition was genuine and if the reforms were going to be more than cosmetic. And even if they were real, would the government have capacity to implement the reforms?

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Burma has appointed Htin Lynn as the permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) and other international organizations, according to a statement issued by the foreign affairs ministry on Wednesday.

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The United Nation’s (UN) refugee agency, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is conducting a “last call” resettlement initiative for Burmese refugees living in Thailand who wish to resettle in the United States.

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As a United Nations committee reviewing Burma’s compliance with an international convention on women’s rights prepares to submit its conclusions this week, women’s groups from the country said they were encouraged by the new government’s receptivity to their input, but worried about its stance on some of the issues.

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The government is to defend a package of four controversial “protection of race and religion” laws at a key UN meeting on discrimination against women in Myanmar being held in Geneva tomorrow.

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Three NGO groups have spoken up in a UN forum on issues of discrimination and rights of women in Myanmar. The following is the oral statement by Amnesty International, the Women Peace Network-Arakan and The Arakan Project in light of the review of Myanmar’s fourth and fifth combined report to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women:

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Ms Yanghee Lee, the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, made a statement at the end of her 12-day visit to Myanmar on Friday. Here is her statement in full.

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The UN and the international community should support ongoing reforms inside Burma instead of focusing on human rights abuses perpetrated by the former government, said President’s Office Spokesman Zaw Htay, in response to a fresh criticism from the UN over Burma’s treatment of religious and ethnic minorities—in particular the Muslim Rohingya.

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Myanmar has banned its officials from referring to the oppressed Muslim minority as Rohingya, instead insisting they are called “people who believe in Islam”.

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The United Nations rights chief today welcomed the release of a second wave of 83 prisoners on Myanmar’s New Year last Sunday, by Presidential amnesty.
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At least 21 people including nine children died after a boat capsized in rough waters off the coast of Myanmar’s restive Rakhine state on Tuesday, a UN spokesman said.
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It has been a long, hard road, but Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is finally set to assume the role of Myanmar’s top civilian leader. Her National League for Democracy party won a landslide victory last November in the country’s first free election in a quarter century. But a provision in Myanmar’s military-drafted Constitution barred Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, from becoming president because her children are British citizens.
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Jailed student activists standing trial for taking part in education reform protests have slammed the head of Burma’s permanent mission to the United Nations for describing them as mere criminals.
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A representative of Unicef in Burma urged the National League for Democracy (NLD) government to sign off on the international Mine Ban Treaty and halt landmine use in conflict zones on Monday, the fourth in-country commemoration of International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.
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Ahead of a United Nations summit on global drug issues, Burma’s Drug Policy Advocacy Group (DPAG) has highlighted the need to develop humane drug policies at home.
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After quizzing the ambassadors of the European Union, India, Japan, and the United Kingdom on the transition last week, The Myanmar Times speaks to the ambassadors for China and Singapore to get their views on U Htin Kyaw’s government and the challenges it will face.
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Myanmar’s central bank has allowed diplomatic corps to open foreign currency accounts in local private banks, according to an announcement of the bank Wednesday.
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